Geneva, 4 May: The Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination will conduct a fact-finding visit to Fiji from 14 to 18 May 2007, at the invitation of the interim Government.
During the visit, the Working Group will hold meetings in the capital Suva and other locations, and consult with representatives of the interim Government, representatives of inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and academia, as well as other individuals. The Working Group welcomes this opportunity to study and discuss emerging issues, manifestations and trends regarding mercenaries, mercenary-related activities and the role of private military and private security companies and their impact on human rights.
The Working Group delegation will be headed by the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group, Mr. José Luis Gomez del Prado, and include Working Group member Mr. Alexander Nikitin. The Working Group will later report on the visit to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.
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The Working Group was established by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 2005 and is composed of five independent experts serving in their personal capacities. For more information on the resolution establishing the mandate of the Working Group and its activities, please consult the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at: http://www.ohchr.org/english/issues/mercenaries/index.htm